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The Depot Lodge

The Depot Lodge is a lodging company that can be found in Paint Bank, Virginia, which is a small town that can be found about three miles away from the border between Virginia and West Virginia. Paint Blank has roughly 150 people in total living within the city boundaries. There are a total of 20 available units for guests to rent that range from hotel rooms to cabins to glamping tents. The Depot Lodge is open year-round, but some of the units, such as the glamping locations, close for the winter. Though the town is small, the property itself offers a number of other features, including a restaurant called Swinging Bridge, a convenience store, a gas station, and more. A number of the buildings that are used by The Depot Lodge were initially built decades ago, with one building, a mill, having finished construction as far back as 1856.


The main lodge of the property has four rooms on the second floor and one room on the first floor. The first-floor unit is ADA-certified and accessible for people who require the use of a wheelchair. Another living arrangement is called The Caboose, which is an actual train caboose that has been renovated into a room that can sleep two people. The Foreman's Cottage is a historical, stand-alone cabin that was built in the early 1900s. The cottage has a full kitchen, two bedrooms, laundry machines, a front porch with seating, a gas-lit fireplace, and satellite television, making it more ideal for those that intend to stay for an extended period of time. The Company House can sleep six people at a time and is found by a small river called Potts Creek. At The Company House, guests can use the fire pit and spend time with friends or family members. There are also two cabins that are located further away from the property, allowing for a greater level of privacy, and are more rustic in nature. Three glamping locations are owned by the property and, due to the close proximity to the border, one of them is found in West Virginia, and the other two are in Virginia. Finally, The Lemon Hotel is a building that is down the road from the main lodge. There are a total of six rooms available for guests to rent. Four of them are considered suites because they are larger in space, while the others are standard room sizes.

All of the available housing units come with their own bathrooms and a television. Some of them have queen-sized beds, while others have king-sized beds, depending on which room or accommodation a guest decides to reserve. In the kitchen of the main lodge, there are a few things like oatmeal and muffins that are available for guests to eat at any time. The glamping tents will receive a picnic basket with muffins, cookies, and other food items delivered to them each day. While WiFi is available for a majority of the venues on the grounds, the manager explains that cellular service tends to be spotty, and guests should expect to receive little to no network connection at all.

The Depot Lodge also owns a number of buildings that aren't used for housing. There is a store on the property called Paint Bank General Store that has a small gas station and a restaurant called Swinging Bridge. Around the back of the main lodge, guests can find a gazebo and fire pits, as well as outdoor seating like rocking chairs and benches. There are a number of walking trails that can be found on and near the property that can take guests to other places, including a heron sanctuary. A trail that leads to Hanging Rock Raptor Observatory and The Pot Valley Rail and Trail are a few of the paths that guests can take hikes on. A bunker tour is available at the Greenbrier Resort, which is another historic resort in the vicinity. The nearest cities are about 45 minutes away, including the towns of Salem, Blacksburg, and Lewisburg. One unique aspect about the property is that the business also owns a herd of buffalo, which can often be seen in some of the nearby fields.

The restaurant on the property, Swinging Bridge, serves breakfast in the morning until 11:30, which is not included with a reservation at The Depot Lodge, though it gives people more options for meals. Swinging Bridge also serves food for lunch and dinner. There are a number of gluten-free options as well as vegetarian and vegan dishes that guests can order. Buffalo meat is one of the restaurant's specialties, which is obtained from their own herd.

The property also has the capability to do guided tours for hunting and fishing. Trout, turkey, and deer are the guided tours that they can do with guests. The property offers packages for hunters so that guests can have a guide while they hunt, a room to sleep for the night, and dinner that is provided by one of the chefs, either at the Lemon Hotel or at Swinging Bridge.


The manager of lodging for The Depot Lodge, whose name is Kendall, explains that "we want our guests to feel like they are coming home." The establishment strives to give visitors a chance to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of life. Another thing that the lodge tries to uphold is the history of the buildings and the land. Kendall describes the desired experience to be "like you are stepping back in time." The workers enjoy having an old-school place to help guests disconnect from the bustling life, especially for people that come from the bigger cities. Kendall mentions that she and the other employees interact with their guests often, especially when the visitors are checking in or out of their accommodations, which is one of her favorite parts of the job. Kendall also says that they have a variety of people that visit from all over the United States and beyond. Bikers, families, and outdoorsmen that are in the area to hunt, fish, or hike are common visitors to The Depot Lodge.

The property is family-owned, and the owners pride themselves in being more oriented towards helping their guests enjoy their stay. Many guests mention in their reviews the quality of care the employees put into the lodge and that they enjoy talking to them. One review of The Depot Lodge reads, "My wife and I had the pleasure of staying in the Creekside glamping site, and it was nothing short of amazing. Every detail has been thought of, and the staff was amazing."

The establishment does not have any designated quiet times. As long as guests are respectful of their neighbors, they are free to roam the property as they would like. The property does have a strict no-pet policy in place and all of the buildings and indoor areas are smoke-free. The business doesn't hold any events like weddings or big retreats, but the Lemon Hotel has a conference center that can be used for meetings and get-togethers, though that addition was more recent and people haven't been able to use it very much yet. Some travelers will book the entire lot for family reunions and other getaways that involve a larger group of people. The local fire department will usually do an event for the Fourth of July, and the manager also likes to tell guests that during the first few weeks of July, fireflies can be seen in the fields at night.


A majority of the buildings owned by The Depot Lodge have been around for many years. Tailor's Mill is an old mill that was built in 1856 and is still decorated and set up as it would have been in that time period. While it is not strictly used for much other than walkthrough tours, it can shed light on the local history of the land and give visitors a glimpse into the past. Paint Bank was known as a mining town, and many things regarding the land can be traced to times before 1909. There used to be several trains that would run through the area, but they haven't come through since 1932. The hotel has been used for living arrangements for some time as well. It was run by someone named Mr. Lemon, which is where it received its name. The hotel has been around since the early 2000s. Hollow Hill Farm is where they keep the buffalo. Buffalo have been a threatened species in the past, and the owners hadn't been using the farm, so they decided to get a herd of their own. 

The general store has been around for years, but it initially only had dirt floors. The manager mentions that there was a large number of renovations that went into the restoration of the general store. All of the buildings that are part of The Depot Lodge are owned by one family, the Mohair family. Before these buildings were here, the area was known as a place to go hunting and fishing, which are both still popular activities. After the mid-80s, the family ended up buying a small cabin to use for holidays, birthdays, and vacations. Over time, they decided to expand and make more places for lodging, as they had come to really enjoy the land. 

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Route 311
Paint Bank, Virginia 24131
United States


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